Well, are you? Look around right this second. No one is seeing this but you. And you don’t have to say anything out loud. So answer the question.
Are you a writer?
“I haven’t published anything.”
“It’s just a little thing.”
“I write but not like [fill in name of writer].”
I didn’t ask you that. One more time:
Are you a writer?
No? Not sure? Not feeling worthy to admit it? Why? Well, there’s a few reasons why you might be feeling that way. Let’s tackle one.
I always knew I could write. Everyone knew I could write. But I never said “I’m a writer.” That’s different, I’d argue. I’ve had nonfiction articles published but the fiction stuff, that’s just different. I’m not published in that.
I began writing a novel, got stuck halfway, and couldn’t get past it. So I stopped writing while that albatross sat on my shoulders.
And the years rolled on.
It took a number of events before I looked in the mirror and said, very quietly, “I’m a writer.”
Nothing happened. Lightbulbs didn’t shatter, the mirror didn’t crack, the floor didn’t tremble. There was quiet in the tiny bathroom. No big deal. I’m a writer. Of course I am. Now to put my money where my mouth was.
I began saying it to people when asked what I did. “I’m a writer, working on my first novel.”
No derisive laughter appeared at the statement. A lot of times the person would say, “That’s amazing! You know, I’ve had this idea for a book for years but somehow never got around to it.”
“That’s great! As soon as I retire I’m going to write a book.”
(These kinds of comments will be fodder for a whole different entry one day in the future.)
But the point remains. I accepted that I’m a writer so everyone else did as well. I can hear one of the “Yeah, but” comments as I type this:
“But I don’t have anything published. At least your articles were published.”
True. But you know what? No one asks what I’ve published. As soon as I mention what I’m working on now, the idea is accepted. I’m a writer and I’m writing.
Isn’t that what writers do? Is that what you’re doing? Are you writing?
Then you’re a writer.
Seems simple, doesn’t it? So why doesn’t it feel that way?
To be continued….